World

Spanish judge probing crash to question mechanics

A Spanish judge probing this summer's Spanair crash that killed 154 people will question three air mechanics on suspicion of manslaughter, officials said Thursday.

A Spanish judge probing this summer's Spanair crash that killed 154 people will question three air mechanics on suspicion of manslaughter, officials said Thursday.

A Madrid Superior Justice Court spokesman said Spanair's head of maintenance at Madrid's Barajas International Airport, along with two mechanics who worked on the plane before it took off, will be questioned.

Earlier this month, the first official report into the passenger jet crash said investigators were focusing on a problem with the plane's wing flaps and the failure of a cockpit alarm to sound, but that no conclusions have been reached as to why the plane went down Aug. 20.

The passenger plane crashed and burst into flames during takeoff from the airport. Flight JK 5022 was bound for the Canary Islands, off the coast of northwestern Africa.

Nineteen people survived the crash.

The plane's first takeoff attempt had been delayed after the pilot reported a breakdown in a gauge that measures temperature outside the plane. Spanair officials said the gauge was then fixed.

The plane crashed on the second takeoff attempt.

Spanair said the McDonnell Douglas 82, or MD-82, jet, which was 15 years old, last passed an inspection in January, and no problems had been reported since then.

The plane crash was the deadliest in Spain in more than 20 years. In February 1985, an Iberia Boeing 727 crashed near Bilbao in the Basque region, killing 148 people.

With files from the Associated Press